This is a unique, peaceful, highly recommended beach escape with direct access to consistent surf breaks nearly year-round. Set on five acres of organically managed land, Los Cardones (tel. 505/8618-7314, info [at] loscardones [dot] com, www.loscardones.com ) rents half a dozen simple but elegant bungalows made from wood and thatch; all have solar hot water, soft beds, no electricity, and composting toilets; all are also waterfront.
Their inspired and creative menu involves lots of fresh fish, and their commitment to both the local community and the ecosystem is admirable.
Rent surf or boogie boards for the waves, collect shells on the beach, or hike to nearby pre-Columbian petroglyphs. Ask about yoga and surf retreats. Rates ($69 plus tax per person) are all-inclusive, for lodging, meals, drinks, and transportation; great deals for a week’s stay or other packages.
The managers started Arte Acción, which promotes social change through art classes, in a neighboring village. Many guests often join in and help the class.
They’ll send a car to Managua  for you; or to get there by bus, take the bus to San Cayetano from Mercado Israel Lewites in Managua (leaves every 45 minutes 4 a.m.–9 p.m.) and get off at “California.” Then walk or hitch 15 kilometers toward the ocean and follow the signs.
To drive, take the Carretera Masachapa to Km 49, then drive 15 kilometers on the Playa San Diego Road until you hit the beach.